8 collaboration tools that startups use

Still stuck with phone and e-mail? Spending about 4 to 6 hours per week stuck in traffic (Belgium!)? All because it’s imporant to be ‘close’ to your customers of coworkers? Then you’ll love this. This list contains 8 tools I use everyday to communicate with my customers and my team, saving me a sh€tload of time not standing on Belgium’s biggest parking lot or digging through 1000s of mails to get things done.

1. Trello – Organize just about everything

Trello is an online kanban board that allows you to visualize your workflow and to get things organized. You simply create a ‘board’ for your project, add some lists and put the to do cards in the list. Each list resembles the state of the card, e.g. ‘To Do’, ‘Doing’, ‘On Hold’ & ‘Done’, but off course you’re free to organize yourself. When starting a task, just move it to the next list, and assign it to a coworker. You can add checklists, labels, due dates, attachments… And the best thing: it’s free! More on trello.com

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2. Leankit – Visualize work to be done

Once you have mastered the art of kanban with Trello, and your team gets a little bigger, you might want to consider Leankit, it is practically the same thing, also a kanban board, but it offers a bunch of extra’s that pro’s are gonna pro, like vertical sublanes, custom templates, audit trails, reporting, integration with Microsoft TFS and JIRA, and a bunch of import and export stuff. More on leankit.com

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3. Skype – Your online phone

Recently bought by Microsoft, Skype replace what used to be MSN Messenger and combines it being your new online phone. You can call for free with your online contacts and do a little chatting and video or screen sharing. When you want to tighten it up, you can buy some credits and call traditional phone numbers, or even buy your own phone number and get called online. More on skype.com

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4. Google Hangouts – Meetings reinvented

Off course, when Microsoft creates (or buys) something, Google wants to do it better. And I must say that their Hangouts is an interesting counterweight for Skype. You can add some contacts, text or chat with them, call them and stuff. But the nicest feature of Google hangouts is when you start a meeting with more that two people. The webcams are shared and you can see everyone, the person who is speaking is shown on the main screen. It also allows instant screen sharing, note taking, file sharing and other collaboration stuff. More on Google.com/hangouts

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5. Join.me – Share your desktop in a jiffy

As simple as it says, and very handy if you want to share your screen with a lot off people when skyping (because videocalling in skype with 3 people costs money)… Download, open and share the link to your coworkers, they can see what’s on your screen. Ideal when discussing an offer with your customer. More on join.me

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6. Dropbox – Your files everywhere you need them

Dropbox is free for 5G of data, and save important files in the cloud and keeps your desktop in sync with your laptop, smartphone, tablet, fablet and in the nearby future maybe your washing machine. Even on a public computer in an internet café on one of your ‘business trips’, you can login securely to your account and manage your files. This makes it also a good online backup tool. If you want to use more than 5G you have to invite some friends or take a subscription. Totaly worth it. More on dropbox.com

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7. WeTransfer – When your mailbox just can’t handle it anymore

WeTransfer is used for sending large files upto 2GB to another, when your mailbox jus’t can’t cope. Go to wetransfer.com and start sharing!

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